What Is Your Luggage Storage Strategy?
I do not allow Airbnb guests to check-in early unless I know for certain that my home is presentable. I don’t want the first impression to be of a dirty house. I also don’t want my guests interacting with my cleaners which usually leads to them asking the cleaners to do non-cleaner activities.
Or, worse, the cleaner, who represents your company, offers your Airbnb guest a prostitute. Yes, this happened in a recent early check-in experience of mine.
But, my cleaners are top-notch. They actually check my message threads and often I see a message from them as to whether or not I can allow this request based on their schedule. Another reason not to higher budget cleaners or cleaner’s associated with big operations like Handy.
On the guest side of things, I recently asked for and was allowed an early check-in to my Airbnb in Colombia. When I arrived around noon, the cleaner was still there. She was friendly, but I noticed right away the floors were slippery. I assumed they were still in the process of being cleaned so I dropped my luggage, got settled, and left about 45 minutes later.
When I returned I noticed the floors were still slippery. Some kind of residue seemed to have been left behind. I ignored it, at first. Then, I noticed a smell that came in bursts and was rather strong. It distracted me from working so I messaged the host. They fixed both items the following day.
In fact, the very next Airbnb I rented in Miami Beach had the same slippery floor issue with my early check-in. In 900+ nights before these two situations, I never noticed a slippery floor. Was this coincidence? It’s one of the reasons I do now allow an early check-in unless I know for certain my place is presentable. When you let the guest enter an unclean home, they start to take note of things they will check upon return.
So then we must think about how to handle these early check-in (or late check-out) guest requests…
How To Handle An Early Or Late Check-In or Check-Out
When a guest asks you for an early check-in or late check-out and you’re unable to handle their request, how do you respond?
Here’s how I respond:
“The next guest has already asked for an early check-in :/ If you need to store your bags, use a service called Bagbnb and if you use OPTIMIZE you will get 10% off. It’s only a few bucks per day.”
This message is actually automatically sent to guests based on Smartbnb’s Artificial Intelligence. I write up a pre-scripted response and Smartbnb detects the guest question and automatically sends out the above message.
There are numerous companies offering luggage storage. I’ve tested them all and these are the best:
- Luggage Hero
This service is fairly new so none of the companies have global coverage. Go with the one who has the most availability in your area. Bagbnb is the largest provider outside of the United States.
My Experience As A Bagbnb User
While in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I needed to find somewhere to drop my carry-on luggage and backpack for a few hours. My check-out time was 10am and my ferry to Uruguay was at 4pm.
I search a few other applications which showed the following results in Buenos Aires:
- Stasher – 1 location
- Luggage Hero – no locations
- StoreMe – no locations
- Nannybag – no locations
- Bounce – no locations
I did a similar search for New York City:
- Luggage Hero – The most locations
- Bagbnb – Numerous locations
- Stasher – Numerous locations
- Nannybag – Numerous Locations
- StoreMe – Sufficient locations
- Bounce – Sufficient locations
I used Bagbnb for the 3 hours between my check-out time and the time I boarded a ferry to go to Montevideo, Uruguay.
The process was seamless and smooth. In the final section, I go through the process your Airbnb guest would to use one of these services.
Alternatives To Airbnb Luggage Storage Applications
The biggest alternative hit me as soon as I used Bagbnb for the first time. The quoted price on the in-store sign was 33% cheaper than what I paid. I took out my phone and searched luggage storage and the location where I was standing, DropGo, appeared on my search.
I had to pay prior to arrival, but obviously a simple google search will be an easy, app-free alternative in the future.
Additionally, you can sometimes store bags in shopping centers, museums, hotels, or hostels, but they’re usually mean for customers and are not always a consistent option. At train or transit stations, you can sometimes find storage lockers.
Conclusion: Airbnb Luggage Storage Options
Yesterday, the issue of luggage storage seemed to lie with the host. The Airbnb host would lose points for not storing luggage, but would not gain points from the guest for storing it. It was a lose-lose situation.
Today, with legitimate and reliable services like Stasher and Bagbnb, the issue has shifted to that of the guest. Additionally, you’re able to make a bit more income by signing up for their affiliate program.
Overnight it seems, the issue of early check-ins and late check-outs has vanished.
To be clear, a free luggage storage option at your Airbnb is still the preferred solution. However, this is not possible for many Airbnb hosts.
How To Use Bagbnb
I know that many of my blog readers are only Airbnb hosts. While I suggest you use Airbnb as a guest at least once per year to understand their perspective, I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending something to my Airbnb guests if I didn’t understand it. This section will take you through what the guest will do to use the Bagbnb application.
With any of these services, you must download their application. Again, Bagbnb seems to have the largest global network so this walkthrough will be from their application. But if you’re in the United States, I recommend Stasher or Bounce.
Look for your preferred Airbnb luggage storage application in the App Store for iPhones or Google Play for Androids:
At 50,000 downloads and over 1,000 reviews, Bagbnb is the leader.
Signup is incredibly easy and can be accomplished with one-click if you link your Facebook so I will skip this step. Once you are logged in, you’ll notice it looks similar to Airbnb with an initial search bar on the home screen. Type your city into the search bar.
The first results page brings you to a list. This is not so useful as you will want to store your luggage in a strategic location near or on your way to the next transit location.
You can see ‘VIEW MAP’ link towards to upper-right which you will want to select. It brings you to a very clear map with the locations labeled.
In this case, I selected the location nearest my ferry terminal and decided to explore this neighborhood for the day.
Outside of the US, it will not be uncommon for a location to not reviewed, but this place had four 5-star reviews.
The Airbnb guest chooses the date of reservation, the time of drop-off and pick-up, and the amount of luggage. In this case, each piece of luggage for an entire day is 300ARS or $5.
How often does you get luggage storage requests from your Airbnb guest?
Also published on Medium.